Something I never envisioned myself doing before I left the UK, was working on a farm. I’ve always been interested and lived around that sort of thing but had never really got my hands dirty. I’m pretty much willing to give anything a try, so when the opportunity came to work on a farm, I immediately said yes.
Farm work is such an easy line of work to get into in Australia. Especially if you’re a ‘backpacker’ with your own transport and willing to relocate. You just have to be a bit careful that your employer is paying you correctly (I have heard a lot of horror stories and had one nightmare employee myself).
The outback has a small population so there are always a few pairs of extra hands needed, especially at harvest. One of the jobs I had was on a feedlot in a place called Inglestone which is next to Meanndara, QLD. Primarily my job was to feed the cattle and help with processing see here for my previous post. When the harvest came around though, I was sent out into the fields (or as the Aussies say, paddocks) to do the raking.
After my lovely little tractor had helped me do the feed, the feed mixer was then detached and I drove 5km to field. There I would attach the rake and off I went. The lines of hay were already in place so all I had to do was drive back and forth, flipping them over. This was so that the sun could dry it out before it went into bales. It sounds boring, but with my audio book, music, snacks and a lot of water, it was bliss.
At home I had previously worked in an office and was at the bottom of the pile. I would basically get all rubbish that everyone else didn’t want to do and forever be stuck doing over time trying to get on top of things. It was very stressful and I hated it. So to sit on my bottom and drive with no one around for miles, was bliss.
Once the bales were made, my next job was to transport them on the tipper truck. Again just a really nice back and forth job which I loved doing. Driving through the beautiful country and singing loudly (and badly) with no one around was great. Wow I miss this!